“Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen” by Arin Andrews (A Book Review)

Some Assembly RequiredRaw, real, and brilliantly human, Some Assembly Required,” is a much-needed journey through  the life of a brave young man in a time when policies have become more important than people.

17-year-old Arin was born Emerald, but he knew from a young age that wasn’t who he was. Through years of rough housing with his cousins, tutus, beauty pageants, YouTube videos, girlfriends, proms, and every other messy part of growing up, Arin finally came to terms with his identity and began to take the steps to finally being wearing his “soul on his skin.”

Just on the writing alone, “Some Assembly Required” is a great read. Arin has a great narrative voice and a gift for storytelling that puts his life, the people in it, and his inner turmoil in vivid color. If you’re looking to write a memoir, I highly recommend checking this book out. I’m not usually one for memoirs, but I couldn’t but this one down.

On a more personal level, Arin captures every feeling, every moment, in brilliant detail, bringing his experience–an experience increasingly in the spotlight–out into the open in a way that’s easy to understand and follow, regardless of a reader’s previous exposure to trans identities. This makes his book a great teaching tool, story, and conversation-starter in equal parts.

So, if you looking to familiarize yourself with the experiences of trans teens in America (which is a good idea honestly), “Some Assembly Required” is a great start. It’s personable, informative, and just an enjoyable read.

That being said, please do keep in mind that Arin’s experience is one of millions in America. While “Some Assembly Required” is a great introduction, it shouldn’t be the end all of your reading on the subject. There are plenty of other great titles available that dive into different trans experiences and identities, which would also make great reads. 🙂   

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